Usually the cost to the suppliers from the manufacturer is based on volume of the order. That will effect the wholesale cost to retailers and plumbers who also get pricing based on volume or total dollar amount of business to the wholesaler. For example, if you buy all of you materials at a Famous Supply store for several months, the total dollar amount that you spent will determine your cost. They usually have a matrix chart to determine your price starting at the highest standard price and discounting by % as you purchasing dollar amount goes up.
No, PEX is not all made with the same process. There are, I believe, three common methods of treating the polyethylene to cause the cross linking effect. That aside, different suppliers will sell the same product to the same plumber at different prices, for a variety of reasons. And, the same supplier will sell the same product to different plumbers at different prices, for a variety of reasons. Take me, and my main supplier. Got connected with them when I was a foreman for the company I used to work for. One of the owners used to call me to coordinate and clarify orders that I had placed with his supply house. The company I was working for is rather large, and was very adept at beating up suppliers on pricing on volume orders. But the company always pays it's bills on time, and so all of the local suppliers desperately want their business. For the promise of a volume order, they will cut their prices to the point that they are getting 10% or less beyond their base cost. I can't even begin to get the kinds of pricing that my old employer can on cellular core PVC pipe, or cheap kitchen faucets, or 40 gallon water heaters. But, suppliers learn to be sneaky to try to get back their profit margin that they loose on the high volume orders. I have it on good authority that my old company pays at least 100% more than I do on oddball things, like pipe insulation. It is such a small part of their total order volume that they don't bother to shop prices on it, and so this supplier charges them an extreme markup on pipe insulation. It is business, and it is about making money. On the surface, lots of things don't make sense.
why does a jar of peanut butter cost differ from company to company? isn't the process for making p-nut butter the same ?
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